Commentary: Washington CeaseFire working to end gun violence

He was a typical college student. During the week he attended classes and studied, and on the weekends, he blew off some steam. Occasionally he partied a little too much. On one such evening, he returned home somewhat inebriated and tried to unlock the front door of the house he shared. Only it wasn’t his house — it was the next-door neighbor’s. The neighbor, thinking someone was breaking in, took out a gun and shot the young man right through the door, killing him instantly. He could have been your son, or mine. In this case, he was the son of a board member of Washington CeaseFire. In my time on the Board of Washington CeaseFire, the state’s longest-serving nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing gun violence, I’ve heard similar stories from other board members and members of the public alike. Perhaps no story is more tragic than that of Tom Wales — the Seattle-based federal prosecutor and former president of Washington CeaseFire — who was assassinated as he worked in the basement office of his home. The 2001 murder has never been solved. The stories and circumstances differ, but the common denominator is the involvement of firearms. To this day, firearm-related violence continues to be one of the most consequential public health issues of our time, as attested to by the almost-daily media reports of homicides, suicides, accidental shootings and violent crime involving guns. I am happy to say, however, that there is hope on the horizon, as Washington […]

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